Department of Chemical Engineering
313 Snell Engineering Center
Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115
bassous.n [at] husky.neu.edu
Degree Objective: Ph.D. Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Staten Island, NY
Prior Degrees: B.Sc. Chemical Engineering
Undergraduate Institution: Rutgers University
Nicole Bassous is a doctoral student in Dr. Thomas J. Webster’s Nanomedicine laboratory at Northeastern University. Her research postulates the design of artificial cellular bodies that are functionalized to diagnose, monitor, and treat infection in a controlled manner. Originally from New York City, Nicole attended Rutgers University, where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering, Summa Cum Laude. As an undergraduate, Nicole won an Aresty Summer Science Fellowship to pursue Molecular Biophysics research in Dr. Wilma K. Olson’s BioMaPS lab, where she performed bio-computational research addressing the theoretical determination of protein-DNA mechanical properties and morphologies in collaboration with Dr. Tahir I. Yusufaly. Her employment as an intern at VaxInnate, a BioTechnology Vaccine Company, encouraged her passion to pursue graduate research oriented towards the obstruction of disease through an understanding of the adaptive immune response. Nicole is currently a representative in the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Council, and, in her spare time, enjoys reading and traveling.
A functional analysis of modern medical intervention reveals several prevalent shortcomings that have reached an impasse. Individuals affected by illnesses borne from environmental vectors or conditions are often subjected to treatments that combat infections indefinitely, and sometimes with an aggression that inevitably damages healthy tissue. Natural immunity agents may be synthetically developed to enable a regulatory therapeutic response for systems exhibiting disease or the potential for infection. The fundamental precepts associated with the fabrication of smart polymeric materials, including relevant chemical accessories, are applied for the conception of artificial cellular bodies. Polymersome nanocarriers are functionalized and digitized to mimic the chemical properties of cells within the adaptive immune system. Accelerated morphological considerations assume the generation of a fully functional biomimetic immune cell with the ability to commute independently within a dynamic environment, to multiply prior to physical degradation within a corrosive climate, and to communicate effectively with active analogs and an external sensing device. The resulting shift from reactionary to predictive intervention will prompt a new era in which early disease detection will contribute to enhanced longevity and productivity among patients.